AT&T recently started taking heat as subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans saw their downstream throughput throttled after consuming just over 2GB on AT&T's 3G HSPA+ network. The primary complaint at that time was that it was illogical for AT&T to set the glass cap at 2GB (as derived by the 'top 5% of data users per market' metric) when the same $30/month buys you at least 3GB on another DataPro  plan. It seems as though AT&T has taken that criticism to heart and today announced that it is setting the throttling cap uniformly at 3GB for 3G HSPA+ subscribers, and 5GB for 4G LTE subscribers. 

After you hit this cap, data rates on the downstream slow to around 256 kbps on 3G, and hopefully substantially more for 4G LTE throttled subs. AT&T has already sent out some notification SMSes to customers who went over 3GB of use on the previous billing cycle, as shown above.

Source: AT&T

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  • Red Storm - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    Well that just about removes any reason to keep an unlimited plan with them.

    Sent using my unlimited, non-throttled Verizon LTE plan
  • minijedimaster - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    Verizon apparently will throttle data on LTE if they deem it <a href="">abuse</a>.
  • minijedimaster - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    since that didn't work....
  • ectoplasmosis - Friday, March 2, 2012 - link

    Blimey, you yanks really do have it bad... expensive monthly contracts, paying to receive calls, huge upfront costs even though the phones are subsidised by 2-year lock ins, and now this nonsense.

    Over here in the United Britain of Englandshire I just got an iphone 4S, the 32GB version, for zero upfront cost, at the equivalent of $55/month with 2000 x-network minutes, 5000 texts and real unlimited internet with native tethering allowed and enabled by default for no extra cost.

    I'd been on a similar contract, paying less for a different phone, for the last year, and have averaged around 10GB/month mainly through tethering whilst out and about. Speeds rarely drop below 2Mb/s, usually around the 3Mb mark. No throttling, no "friendly warnings".

    Then again, the UK is a highly saturated, very competitive market.
  • Zingam - Saturday, March 3, 2012 - link

    Wasn't LTE meant to bring unlimited.... I mean UNLIMITED broadband wireless internet access? What is with the datacaps? OK if there is 100Gb datacap... I could live with that but seriously 5Gb... WTF???
    Are they kidding?
  • elites2012 - Monday, March 5, 2012 - link

    look people. your phone is not a pc. stop viewing movies, youtube videos, hulu, and netflix on you GD cell phone. the 3g and 4g speeds are to view small websites like yellow pages, yahoo and google mail. these companies knew idiots would misuse the bandwidth. how stupid do you think these companies are? same thing goes for the idiots who drive gas guzzling vehicle. did you think gas was going down cause you bought a truck???
  • Toughbook - Monday, March 5, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the daily educational tip. When a consumer pays for bandwidth they are free to use it however they desire. Think about the millions of people who dont even come close to 1Gb usage a month. You don't hear AT&T coming with rebates for those users. Why, because they are only interested in making more money off the heavy users.

    Who is bitching about gas prices in a truck? My work vehicle takes 33 gallons to fill up. I don't complain because I profit off of that gas when I'm working. My vehicle is my office, shop, etc.

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